Blogmas Book Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.
With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.
Finale (Caraval, #3)Review:
Finale is the final book in the Caraval trilogy. I really wanted to love this after liking the first book and loving the second, but I just couldn’t. So much of that had to do with an event in the beginning. Basically, the whole plot of book two was made pointless and that really pissed me off. I stopped really caring about the rest of the story after that event.
I still liked Tella and Scarlett. I actually liked Scarlett more in this book than I did in the first book. She really grew into herself and I liked the new confident version of her. But Tella was the one that annoyed me. There’s a sort of love triangle and Tella going back and forth between it really annoyed me.
Which brings me to Legend. He’s so hot and cold with Tella that it wasn’t cute anymore. It was just annoying. Tella had him all figured out and he just denied it all before finally admitting that she was right. Like, he could have just pulled his head out of his butt and had these realizations sooner and so many bad things would not have happened. He was just annoying.
Then there is Jacks. I loved him. I’m a sucker for the bad boy. I loved all the antics he put Tella through. The fact that she was his true love just made me love him. Like, maybe he didn’t show his love in the best ways, but he showed his love the way he knew how.
I guess I’m glad that there was a mostly happy ending. But this book took so many bizarre twists and turns that I did not see coming. I think it was just a bit too much for one book. I think there were parts that were just completely unnecessary to the whole of the story. I still loved the fates and magic. But I just couldn’t care after the whole plot of book two was made irrelevant. I still enjoyed the series as a whole.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…
Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.
Legendary (Caraval, #2)Review:
After hearing many mixed reviews from close friends, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like Legendary or not. I liked the first book. It was fun and suspenseful, but I didn’t love it like so many others did. But damn, I really loved Legendary.
In the second installment of the Caraval trilogy, we follow Tella as she takes her turn at trying to win a special version of Caraval. But like in the first book, there’s more at stake than there is for any of the other players. Tella needs to win in order to find her mother, who left years ago. I think I liked this one so much because Tella has mommy issues and that’s something I seriously identify with. I loved her strength. I loved seeing her at her lowest. And most of all, I love the men she finds herself tangled with.
Dante is bae. I loved him in the first book even though he was barely in it and I loved him in this book right up until I hated him. I really am excited to see how things will play out in the finale (Finale, ha ha see what I did there.) Then there’s Jacks, who I also couldn’t help but love even though he was kind of horrible?
I’m happy to be able to say I got a little more of the world-building that I thought was missing from book one. Maybe not necessarily with the whole of the world, but within the culture and the history of this world. We learn that the Fates have been cursed and are doing whatever they can to come back. I loved the magic and myth that came with the information about the Fates. I’m very excited to see more of them and what else we may learn about them in the next book.
Overall, I absolutely adored Legendary. I loved that even though part of the story was resolved, it was by no means a happy ending. There was still so much left to get into for the third book. I loved Tella and Dante and Jack. I loved this round of Caraval and all of the new things we learned. I’m going to go start the final book now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.
Caraval (Caraval, #1)Review:
In an attempt to read all of the GoodReads Choice Awards Nominees, I am having to catch up on a few series that I have fallen behind on. Caraval is one of those series. I read this when it first came out in 2017. But never managed to pick up the second book when it came out. So, now the series is complete and the third and final book is a nominee, so I’m playing catch up.
I enjoyed this one. I don’t know how much of that was due to my love of the narrator and how much was actually due to the story. My all-time favorite narrator, Rebecca Soler, is really what brings life to this story. I was actually tearing up at one point because of the emotions she portrays.
Garber has created some really interesting characters in this story. Scarlett is annoying, but also, I couldn’t help but feel for her. She comes from a family that is not great. Her dad is abusive, her mother left, and her grandmother died. She’s planning to marry a stranger to escape her father. The one thing she wants most in the world is to protect her younger sister, Tella.
Tella is reckless and just wants to have fun. She doesn’t totally understand what kind of man her father is. I thought she was kind of selfish. I get choosing your own happiness, but at the expense of your sister? A sister that has done nothing but protect you her entire life? That’s selfish. I’ve heard the next book is more focused on her, so we will see if my opinion of her changes.
I really don’t even want to talk about the men. They’re all liars. They’re conniving and, dare I say, evil. I still kind of liked them though. The twist with Julian and Legend was a great one. I wanted to hate them, but…somehow couldn’t?
Overall, I enjoyed this. Though there were somethings I didn’t like, it was still a fun story. I would have liked to know a bit more about the world and the magic. The world wasn’t explained outside of Scarlett’s hometown and the island where Caraval happens. The magic was very undefined. There didn’t seem to be too many limitations and I was just left wanting to know more. I liked the characters well enough, even the ones I didn’t like really made me feel something. I had fun listening to the audiobook and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.